Youngstown Vindicator: Youngstown school district joins OhioCheckbook.com
By Denise Dick
May 5, 2016
The Youngstown City School District is the 73rd Ohio school district to post its finances online.
“Those school districts and local governments that are proud of the way they are managing their money and have nothing to hide, I didn’t have to convince them to do it,” said Josh Mandel, state treasurer. “They wanted to do this.”
Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com in December 2014, posting all state spending information online.
He unveiled the school district’s information Wednesday morning at City Machine Technologies Inc. at a meeting of the Youngstown Area Action Council of the National Federation of Independent Business.
Mandel was joined at the unveiling by Sherry Tyson, school district treasurer, and James Reinhard, retired treasurer.
“This is something I’m totally on board with,” Tyson said. “The taxpayers need to see how their money is being spent.”
Mandel said the online information allows taxpayers to act as an “army of citizen watchdogs.”
He’s met with some resistance from some school districts and local governments.
“Most of the resistance comes from people who are either uncomfortable with technology and uncomfortable with change,” Mandel said.
Mahoning County was the first county to join the effort.
Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com after the U.S. Public Interest Research Group ranked Ohio 46th in country for transparency.
Since then he’s started the program, the group ranks Ohio first.
“It’s an antidote to corruption,” the state treasurer said. “It makes politicians think twice before spending taxpayer money or worse, defraud the citizens.”